Malcolm Gladwell’s popular book, The Tipping Point, talks about how the ‘little things’ make a big difference in the totality of person.
The dictionary calls The Tipping Point “The point at which an object is displaced from a state of stable equilibrium into a new, different state”
Bottom of the 8th inning, 2 out, runner on third. Cardinals trailing by 1 run and Matt Holliday comes to plate.
After struggling mightily to hit with runners in scoring position, months after becoming the highest paid Cardinal, Holliday dug in knowing his past had lead to much hand-wringing amongst fans and a change in his batting position by the team. For any other player on any other team, the outcome of this one at bat, in the middle of June, against a terrible opponent wouldn’t mean dick.
Unfortunately, for Holliday, It was his tipping point.
After his slow grounder was corralled and flung to first for the 3rd out in the 8th, the normally tacit and docile home crowd stood and booed their teams prized off-season acquisition. Anyone that watches this team on a regular basis knows that Cardinal fans aren’t booers. They are many things (sheep-like, crazy, pudgy), but they aren’t people that cannibalize their own without long and hard thought.
.189 with RISP will do the trick, apparently.
So the dirty little secret that bloggers and fans have been talking about for at least 6 weeks is now out in the open. Flayed out for Holliday and his teammates to see… we’re pissed he’s getting more money than Pujols, Wainwright or any other Cardinal, but contributing nothing to a closer division race than we all anticipated.
It’s now us Vs. him. Holliday against the world. Pandora’s box is open and he can expect a similar reaction to similar production until he proves he was worth the investment that the Cardinals made in his this off-season.
Perhaps. But it’s sports. You make the big bucks and you take the big blame. Through June 16th, Holliday wouldn’t be classified as anything but a disappointment. And all the talk of how much pressure he is putting on himself and how he feels worse than any fan is all nice talk show fodder.
But it’s up to Holliday to tip us back into his favor, not the other way around.